An Interview With the "Catfish"

"He fights like a cat and drinks like a fish."

Kevin Jackson is larger than life. His success on the field with the 1980 National Championship team and the building of a multi-million dollar company have catapulted him to become one of the top Dawgs in Savannah.


Coach Russell made the comment, “He fights like a cat and drinks like a fish.” And from then on, he called me “Catfish” 


SOUTH MAGAZINE: What made you decide to play football at Georgia?

KEVIN JACKSON: Being recruited out of Bartow County as a young kid, my high school coach said to me, “I really want you to think about life after football. Wherever you’re going to live, you need to stay in that state because that’s where you’ll make your contacts.”

I made the right decision by going to Georgia. I was a part of a national championship, three SEC championships, and played for great coaches like Erk Russell and Vince Dooley

SM: Erk Russell was famous for his passion with his players. What was that like?

KJ: Erk was the greatest coach I’ve ever seen. He was a player’s coach. You could be fifth team and not playing, but you loved the guy. He brought out the best in you. 

SM: What about those infamous head-butts?

KJ: A lot of people think he would head-butt us, but what he actually would do was chest-bump us but hit his head when he did it. He would wipe the blood on us and it was like war paint. Can you imagine that today?

SM: Coach Dooley is a UGA legend. What are your thoughts about him?

KJ: Coach Dooley is the ultimate statesman and a dear friend of mine. He hunts with me every year and recently came down for my grand opening. It’s been an honor to have him as a coach and friend, and to support me through my career. 


To read the rest of Kevin Jackson's interview with South,  subscribe now or pick up the August/September issue of South magazine.